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Latest Environment Stories
Exhibition: Glas Journal 2016 – Deep Mappings of Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Coastal Notes
#Exhibition - For Glas Journal 2016, two series of handmade books will be displayed in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire, within an installation of projected harbour arms, forming a ‘place ballet’ of familiarity and attachment. The journals…
The tsunameter being deployed near the M4 buoy
Marine Warning
#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that marine scientists from the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) are deploying a tsunameter close to the new location of the M4 weather…
Five Fingers Strand across from the Isle of Doagh
News Update
#IsleOfDoagh - A body has been found this afternoon (Thursday 1 September) in the search for a man missing from the Isle of Doagh since Monday evening. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the man was reported missing by his family…
Oriel Sea Salt Joins European List Of Protected Foods
News Update
#SeaSalt - Marine Minister Michael Creed has welcomed the European Commission's approval of the addition of Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals to the quality register of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO). “This is great news for the producers…
Andrew Cotton rides the big swell at Nazaré in Portugal in 2014
Surfing
#Surfing - Chasing the most challenging swells is the dream of the world's top big wave surfers, who've made an art of determining where the tallest walls of water can be found. But now one Irish coastal regular reveals how…
Pictured at the launch of the Launch of FLAGS (Fisheries Local Area Groups Groups) programme at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty are Michael Creed, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM with FLAGS representatives, WEST FLAG, Paddy Crowe, Inis Oirr, Co. Galway; SOUTH WEST FLAG, Kevin Flannery, Dingle Co.Kerry; NORTH FLAG, Gerry Gallagher, Co. Donegal; SOUTH FLAG, Finian O’Sullivan, Bantry, Co. Cork; SOUTH EAST FLAG, Noel McDonagh, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford and NORTH WEST FLAG, Gerard Hassett, Achill, Co. Mayo.
Fishing
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD met representatives of the seven new Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty today. €12m is available to the FLAGS under Ireland’s Operational Programme for…
Locals Express Fears As Deadline Draws Near On Galway Bay Marine Test Site Consultation
Power From the Sea
#SeaPower - Fears over loss of access to generations-old seaweed harvesting grounds and millennia-old archaeological finds have been expressed by locals in the consultation on the new Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site, which closes next Friday 9…
DLRCoCo is monitoring the situation after the minke whale washed up on Killiney Beach today
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has warned the public to stay away from the carcass of a minke whale that has washed up on Killiney Beach. According to TheJournal.ie, the carcass of the 13m female minke whale was seen…
Green Acres at Doonaha on the Loop Head Peninsula
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Holidaymakers on the Loop Head Peninsula sprang into action to rescue two common dolphins stranded on a nearby beach, as the Irish Examiner reports. Visitors staying at Doonaha's Green Acres caravan park used buckets of water to keep…
Heavy lift installation vessel, HLV Svansen undergoing repairs at H&W, Belfast following completion of windfarm turbine work on the Irish Sea
Power From the Sea
#HeavyLiftVessel - Dutch marine speciliat, Van Oord's heavy lift-vessel, HLV Svanen arrived recently to Belfast Harbour, following installing the final wind turbine foundation at the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm in Liverpool Bay. The 1990 built heavy lift installation vessel is moored…
West is one of five unmanned research boats sent out from the US east coast and the Canary Islands from late 2013
Marine Science
#Unmanned - A miniature unmanned sailing boat has been reported off the Kerry coast after nearly three years in the North Atlantic. The boat, named West, is part of the Educational Passages project by the Middle School of Westbrook in…
Dr Ophelie Sagnol from the Broadhaven Bay Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme adding seaweed to one of the stranded dolphins to keep its skin cool
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has reiterated the need for localised stranding plans after the death of two common dolphins that stranded in Mayo's Blacksod Bay in late July. Aoife Foley of the IWDG writes that…
A County Cork Community cleaning-up at Ballynamona Beach
Coastal Notes
‘Clean Coasts Ballynamona’ will take their coast cleaning project to Ballynamona Beach near Shanagarry in East Cork this weekend. On Sunday morning next, August 14, at 10 am. they will carry out a beach clean at Ballynamona. ‘Clean Coasts Ballynamona’…
Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands
Island News
#AranIslands - Electricity supply has been restored to the Aran Islands of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr four days after a subsea cable fault left almost 400 residents without power. Galway Bay FM reports that repairs works are ongoing and…
Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands
Island News
#AranIslands - A senator has called on the Defence Forces to step in to assist the residents of two Aran Islands who are expected to be without power for several days since an outage on Friday morning (5 August). According…
Dr Ciaran Kelly of the Marine Institute with Dr Louise Allcock of NUI Galway, Dr Philip McGinnity of UCC, Science Foundation Ireland DG Prof Mark Ferguson and Mark Johnson
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Two marine science projects will be funded as part of €40 million in research funding for 24 major projects as announced yesterday (Wednesday 3 August) by Minister for Innovation Mary Mitchell-O'Connor. Distributed via the Science Foundation Ireland's Investigators…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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